Choosing the Right Key to My Heart with Choice

kazaam-soundtrack

Hey, hey, do you remember Kazaam?

That horrible movie that featured basketball legend Shaq?

You probably have at least seen it once if you a child of the 90s. I remember watching this bizarre film on videotape when my mom bought me every kid movie tape out there.

Nooooow, do you remember this movie?

What?  You want the painful memories to stop?

Don’t worry, we won’t be talking about the movie, which will turn twenty years old next month. Instead, we will briefly talk about a song from it’s soundtrack, which features a mixture of R&B, hip-hop, and pop. It had songs from well-known artists like Spinderella (from Salt ‘n’ Pepa), Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (from TLC), and Nathan Morris (from Boyz II Men). But, it also spotlighted up and coming artists like Backstreet Boys, Usher, and P!nk who were just scratching the surface of the music world at the time of Kazaam’s soundtrack release.

One of the groups featured on this album was the girl group Choice. The group was made up of three girls from the suburbs of Philadelphia; Stephanie Galligan, Alecia Moore, and Chrissy Conway. The R&B-flavored group recorded songs and sent them to various record companies in order to get a deal. One person who noticed the group’s music and talents was L.A. Reid, who signed Choice on his own record label LaFace Records. He flew the girls down to Atlanta to record their debut album. During this time, one of their recorded songs, “Key of My Heart”, appeared on the Kazaam soundtrack.

However, Choice’s debut album never saw a physical release as the group disbanded before anything could be released. One of the possible reasons behind the breakup was the LA Reid gave Alecia a hard choice, go home or go solo, as he thought she was too talented to be in Choice.[1] And so she did, changing her name to P!nk and releasing her two time platinum-hit debut record “Can’t Take Me Home” in 2000. The edgy, in your face singer has had a successful career since her debut as the artist has dabbled in various musical genres from R&B to rock and beyond.

While P!nk was doing her thing, Chrissy Conway went onto join a Christian pop girl group called ZOEgirl from 1999 to 2006 and COLMANblue from 2008 to 2010. Meanwhile, Stephanie Galligan left the music business after the breakup.[2]

You probably wouldn’t notice P!nk’s vocals when you first listen “Key to My Heart”. The song features vocals that is completely different then P!nk’s powerful, brazen vocals that you typically hear in such songs like “Just Like Fire” and “Get This Party Started”. Instead, it features a mellow tone from the then-young singer to fit in with the mid-tempo flow.

The song is pretty soothing with the light tones from the members’ tone, a great flow, and a laid-back mood. It’s a basic 90s’ mid-tempo R&B that is a bit generic as you could hear the synthesizer, those types of vocals run, and the prominent woodblock mixed with snaps backbeat that you could find in any smooth R&B jams during the same time (see SWV, Allure, and others). However, it’s a pretty decent tune that doesn’t really bore anyone. It’s a great listen while you are relaxing on this beautiful Sunday.


Sources:

[1] Behind the Music. Perf. P!nk. VH1, 1999.

[2] Ali, Rahsheeda. “Solo Artists Who Got Their Starts In Now-Forgotten Bands.”VH1. 2014. Web. 05 June 2016. <http://www.vh1.com/news/53694/solo-artists-forgotten-bands/&gt;

Try the “SWEE:D” taste with “Stop It!”! It’s 100% Sugary!

sweed-stopit

Valentines Day is coming very soon! It’s a romantic holiday for some of you lucky readers that is full of fancy dinners, Godiva chocolates, and red roses. But, if you are like me, you might be starting to save your money for February 15, the day when Valentines candy is 50% off, in order to begin a massive stockpile of sweets. Mmmm, candy hearts! If one of your pastimes is enjoying sugar rushes, then I got a band for you!

SWEE:D has all the sweetness you ever need. Formed in 2009, the pop band from Thailand had three members: Pin, Mim, and Jenny. Their catchphrases included “33% : Pim, 33% : Min, 33%: Jinny, and 1%: SECRET INGREDIENT” and “Try SWEE:D 100%”. Many believed that the girls were the Thai version of the Japanese girl group PERFUME while others believed they were copying the Kpop style that was popular when they formed. Nevertheless. the girls released their first single entitled “ห้าม* (Stop It!)” in 2010/. The single sadly didn’t chart on any of the Thai music charts[1]. The band released a few more singles in 2010 while performing at various concerts for their record label KamiKaze. Sadly, the group disbanded either in 2011 or 2012 when one of the members wanted to study abroad. Since their contracts were set to expire around the same time, the girls decided not to renew[1]. It is unknown what each girl is doing currently.

You can feel the sugary vibes when you begin to listen to the first few seconds of “Stop It!”. The overuse of the drum kits and synthesizers furthers the sweet tooth as it makes the song sound so innocent and cute. The song turns a little bitter as the lyrics starts to reveal the setup, a list of “don’t”s that the girl in the song hopes that her potential boyfriend will abide to. The list is a bit innocent as some of the examples are: “Don’t post a message…”, “…don’t you dare run off!”, and (the louche one) “Don’t try pick-up lines on me anywhere”.[2] What makes the “flavor” last longer is the visual presentation of girls and song through the music video. You can see the girls are trying to be syrupy by the pastel dress, the “sexy yet cute” look, and the music video’s story.

I personally think that this song’s style comes from those similar to Kpop as it has the cute melodies, sweet and sexy outfits, and innocent lyrics. Hopefully you don’t get a toothache after listening to this candy-coated song.

Further Reads:

* SHANNY594‘s write up of the group: “SWEE:D!!~♥


Notes / References

[1] Thanks Tahmnong for the information! ❤

[2] “ห้าม (Stop It!)” by SWEE:D. (2011, September 30). Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://deungdutjai.com/2011/09/30/stop-it-by-sweed/

Four Colourz – “ABCD”

abcd-fourcolourz

Long time, no see! I am sorry for not updating for a week or so. I usually curl up next to the space heater after work on very cold winter nights, unexpectedly falling asleep for long periods of time. Lame, isn’t it? This week’s weather is forecasted to be spring-like here in Japan. Maybe I will be lucky and I wouldn’t have to use a heater.

But enough of the excuses, let’s talk more about music! What do you remember about the late 90s and early 2000s in the music world? Do you remember those influx of girl groups and boy bands from every corner of the world? Ok, ok! Maybe not “every corner of the world”, but it did feel like it! With any kind of band coming from Europe, the UK, US, and Canada, you might of have felt a bit overwhelmed when choosing who to follow. I did! I always had to choose between being a Backstreet Boys fan or a *Nsync fan when discussing who my friends and I loved during lunch in middle school. Luckily, I found a loophole and admitted that I loved the bad boys from the UK, 5ive. ❤

Four Colourz is one of those girl groups.. Formed in late 1999, Four Colourz was a quartet with members Kara, Claire, Tierra and Nraca/R-Ca, They started to record their first album, “FourColourz.com”, in the early part of 2000. To promote this album, they were the opening act for the European leg of P. Diddy’s tour while releasing four singles: “Wait”, “Anything”, “ABCD”, and “Dog Me Out”. The girls found minor success in Europe, especially in their home country of Germany. But it wasn’t enough as the girls disappeared off the music radar a year after their debut. It is currently unknown what the girls are up to now; are they still in the entertainment industry or did they retire to a “normal” life?

Luckily, their music is still roaming around the internet for all to enjoy this talented group. You can hear their beautiful yet sassy voices the best in their second single “ABCD”. Although it’s a typical “pop meets R&B from those days”-type of song,  it really does fit the girls’ voice wonderfully. The magic of this song comes from the solo lines, where each girl gets to show off their unique vocals, and in the chorus parts with the girls blending together to create a unified sound. I honestly can’t choose from Claire’s sultry vocals or Tierra’s sweet ones. But, what makes it more memorable is the beat and the melody; creating a high-energy, get up and bounce jam.

If you liked Destiny’s Child, 3LW/Cheetah Girls, or Mis-Teeq, then Four Colourz is for you! With a pinch of sugar, spice, sass, and everything kinda nice, “ABCD” is an unforgettable jam that might have you arbitrary humming parts of the chorus anywhere.